Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline is bolstering scientific expertise on its board by establishing a new science committee, charged with overseeing research, as a new chief executive prepares to take over.
Incoming CEO Emma Walmsley, the first woman to lead a top global drugmaker, stands out among Big Pharma bosses as a consumer brands specialist rather than a prescription medicines expert.
Since her appointment in September she has spent much of her time learning about GSK’s prescription drug research and development (R&D), according to company insiders. She takes over from Andrew Witty at the end of March.
Britain’s biggest drugmaker said on Monday that its new science committee would be chaired by non-executive director Jesse Goodman, a former chief scientist for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Patrick Vallance, president of R&D, will also join the GSK board as an executive director on Jan. 1, ahead of the retirement of current research head and board member Moncef Slaoui on March 31.
Despite GSK’s diversified structure, which includes vaccines and consumer health products, drug discovery remains a core activity and the company expects important clinical results for between 20 and 30 experimental medicines by the end of 2018.
Walmsley herself has described R&D as “the beating heart” of the group.
By Ben Hirschler
Five years ago, GSK made headlines when it hired Emma Walmsley to become the first woman to run a major pharmaceutical company. Now the Big Pharma has brought in another woman to control the company’s finances. Julie Brown will be GSK’s next chief financial officer. Brown, currently the chief operating and financial officer at fashion and beauty brand Burberry Group, is set to replace Iain Mackay.
Moderna created a new role responsible for “building out the company’s organization to support its growing pipeline.” Starting first thing 2023, Juan Andres, Moderna’s manufacturing head, will step into this new role under the title president of strategic partnerships and enterprise expansion, the company said Thursday.
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